El Salvador Farmer Outreach, Feb. 2019

From February 13 to February 16 ,2019, ACE started the farmer outreach program in El Salvador. Together with the in country partner, Consejo Salvadoreño del Café, four meetings were organized throughout the country.

What is Farmer outreach?
Throughout ACE’s experiences in the origin countries along with in country partners, a potential of increase in participation has been found. The project started in 2019, with the modality of tours throughout the country. The Cup of Excellence and National Winner programs are thoroughly explained to farmers. A slide show presentation is projected with different subjects of interest to farmers. To mention some:

  • A brief view on the history of COE (worldwide and in country)
  • Where is COE held throughout the world
  • The ultimate purpose of COE (Rewarding farmer for their exceptional quality coffee)
  • Auction prices
  • Participation open to all
  • Transparency
  • Advantages and opportunities COE offers
  • Stages of the competition

Where were the meetings held?

  • Alotepec region (Asociacion Cafetalera La Palma)
  • San Carlos, Morazan región (Coop. San Carlos Dos)
  • Usutlan región (Asociacion Cafetalera Santiago de Maria)
  • Guadalupe, San Vicente región (Asociacion Cafetalera de Guadalupe)

Who attended the meetings?

Consejo Salvadoreño del Café, through its social networks, invited all farmers interested in participating and/or learning about cup of excellence where invited. On average meetings were attended by 20 farmers, with the biggest meeting with the participation of 46 farmers in the Guadalupe, San Vicente Region.

How did it go?

With the help of the in country partner we reached out to farmers who had previously won COE one or more times. It was interesting for farmers to listen from a colleague and learn from their experience. In some cases, questions and advice arose from the attendees. It was interesting to see the eagerness of farmers to interact with these successful farmers. The potential opportunity on how COE can change a farmers life was emphasized, and a clear interest in participation was noted by farmers. 

  • It was not uncommon to listen to farmers who due to current coffee delivery commitments will not be able to participate in the 2019 COE, but have decided to participate in 2020. With proper follow up an increase in participation can be seen in the upcoming 2 years.
  • Many farmers had misconceptions of COE such as:
    • Any variety can participate
    • Any altitude can participate
    • Hybrids? (Yes they can participate)
    • Minimum and maximum lot sizes
    • Requirements to participate
  • All questions were addressed by either the ACE representative, the Technical lead of the in country partner, or the successful farmer guest speaker.
  • In all meetings a coffee break was offered to farmers.

Conclusion:

COE has changed lives around the world. The enthusiasm in participating in COE is notable in the face of every farmer. Farmer outreach is a project that with proper follow up and work from ACE along with the in country partners around the world can increase participations and change more lives. We look forward in the outcome of the upcoming farmer outreach tours around the origin countries in 2019!

Gary Urrutia, ACE Field Coordinator

 

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